Sweet & Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash Dinner

Pre-baking your squash gives you plenty of time to cook up the sweet & savory filling, and then you top everything off with just a bit of shredded sharp cheddar cheese for a touch of tangy contrast. (This is also a good way to stretch a smaller amount of meat to feed four!)
Course dinner
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rachel Singer


-to pre-bake the squash

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

- for the filling

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 a medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 small apples, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup chopped; I used 1 1/2 small Gala)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds & membranes, then season generously with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until tender when shell is pricked with a fork. (Cooking times may vary, depending on the size of your squash.)
  3. While the squash is baking, brown your ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, then drain and remove the browned beef from the skillet.

  4.  Saute apple, garlic, and onion in the same pan over medium heat for another 5-7 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. 

  5. Stir beef back into the skillet, then turn off the heat and mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, cayenne, sea salt, and dried cranberries.

  6. Turn the cooked squash over so that the cut side is up, then fill each with the ground beef & apple mixture. Top each filled squash with a bit of shredded cheddar, then return them to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until cheese is browned and squash is very tender. 

  7. Enjoy your cooked acorn squash with their sweet + savory filling!

Recipe Notes

Next time I'd chop the apples smaller than shown here, so that they blend in a little bit better.